As you get older, you, obviously, have more experiences and, hopefully, they’re not all horrible. But some are bound to be. That’s the way things work. As Mr. Buddha says, “Life is suffering.” This week, Jane and I had to put Blinkie, our beautiful 17-year-old tuxedo kitty, to sleep; our third such event in two months. Orion (14-year-old orange tabby) and JJ (21-year-old grayish-brown tabby) both preceded her demise, in September. Blinkie was a gentle beauty queen, JJ was quite small, but also quite scrappy and was blind her final four years. Orion was a big, super-friendly, stubbornly-independent buddy. Each was unique and a source of enormous joy for us. But right now, the numb feeling is disorienting, and tears are constant companions. My father, although generally considered a go-to-dude for stability and reliability, cried easily, especially if you told him what a good guy he was and patted him on the back. Anyway, I’ve been clinging to my other pets, grabbing their heads, and looking them all in their eyes as deeply as I can. Our old dog, Foxey, is not enjoying my obsessive attention. She’d always prefer that I keep the lovey-dovey stuff to a minimum. But that doesn’t dissuade me. I just hold her head in my hands while her eyes dart in every direction, except toward me, and I tell her how much I love her, as she tries to pull away. Then she gets a treat, then goes outside, into the backyard, then back in, then right back out, then right back in, then out, then in. A touching moment, for sure. For a couple of days after Blinkie died, our other cats settled down and the house became uncomfortably quiet. We’ve seen this before with our dogs and cats. This time the silence was almost distracting. Whatever, this crappy feeling is, sadly, familiar. That’s the big-ass downside to rescuing and adopting and loving lots of animals. Most likely, they will go before you do and you’ll have to endure whatever that involves. I don’t take the sad stuff well, but I do know what to expect and sorta how to plow through. We will be reunited with Blinkie’s cremated remains in a few days. That always helps. Our shelf-top cemetery is completely full of little wooden and metal caskets, filled with ashes and bone fragments. Some of our currently-living cats like to hang out there on occasion and pay their respects.
Sorry to hit you with a downer and, trust me, I am not fishing for sympathy. Just sharing a monumental event because a lot can be learned from it, especially how one reacts to it. Plus, I rarely post on up-to-the-minute social media and, generally, only through a Brave Combo site. So this is my once-a-month “reveal” into what I’m thinking and, you know, I’m all about the three “A”s! Animals, Art, and Airplanes, minus the airplanes. I’ve flown a lot, way more than some folks, not as many as others. I’m familiar with the experience. Overall, it’s a pretty massive drag, as I’m sure you’re aware. It’s still mind-blowing to me that we’re able to do it at all, but it’s also just as mind-blowing that it’s so common. We certainly don’t think of it in Sinatra’s “Fly with me. Come fly, let’s fly away” way anymore. It’s not exotic. It’s just humans sorta fine-tuning a technology, based on physics, primarily creating a convenience for an overly self-indulgent species. And, at best, it’s a hassle. Have you noticed how many travel commercials on TV involve steel drums? Just a “musical” side note. Of course, I’m talking about what one might call LEISURE travel. I’m certainly not referring to ordering something I desperately need from Amazon, which will be shipped across the country, as quickly as possible, on a big cargo plane and delivered directly to my doorstep. You know, THAT would be something essential…to me! Whatever, it doesn’t matter. People gotta go and get themselves somewhere for a reason and that’s the end of the story. Sing it again, Frank, same melody, “Come fly with me. But first, let’s stand in line!” One more thing. Flying with a guitar and accordion sucks and it’s scary. Ta-daa! One more time, Frank, “Fly with me. Are your instruments insured?”
ONE QUESTION FOR ALL POLITICIANS. AND ONLY ONE. So, it’s another new world today. I’m not a nostalgia freak or anything, in fact, I think it often causes problems, but wow is it a new world. Primarily due to babies who can’t control their addiction to ego, our country is a divided mess. And there’s no need to go over everyone’s differences, but there are, basically, two camps. One side believes one way. The other believes the opposite. I got both sides figured out, literally, need no more info on who thinks what. And neither do you. In fact, NO ONE really needs to hear ANYONE’S partisan view on anything, right or left. I gotcha both figured out. So, that means ALL politicians should only get one question from every interviewer, which is, “What is YOUR plan to get the country back together?” That’s it. We need to hear nothing else. I mean, I know my side is correct and the other side is full of stupid, dangerous, scary snarks!” Their evil cancer has infected all corners of the country, so living location options to escape the insanity are limited. Therefore, no matter what, we gotta agree to disagree and get along. And everyone must be on board. So, again, there is only one question for all politicians, which truly matters. “What is your plan for bringing the country together, other than civil war, forced lobotomies, or mass incarcerations and executions?” Spread the idea. ONE QUESTION!
Okay, we have a few holiday shows in the works for next month. In dandy Denton, beautiful Bedford, and magical McKinney (with full orchestra). I anticipate one or two more to be added. Make your plans. Here’s a holiday joke to get you in the mood.
MUSIC FAN A: HEY, YOU LIKE CHRISTMAS MUSIC?
MUSIC FAN B: SO-SO.
MUSIC FAN A: WHAT ABOUT BRAVE COMBO’S STUFF
MUSIC FAN B: WELL…. HELL, YEAH, THAT’S SOME GOOD SHIT
MUSIC FAN A: YEAH, PRETTY GOOD SHIT. HAVE A MERRY DAMN CHRISTMAS
For now, here’s an old BC video you will definitely enjoy. Joe Cripps is holding the photo display. Enjoy!